What’s that thing flying in your face? Or hovering around your kitchen sink? It could be pesky gnats or fruit flies—yuck! Where do fruit flies come from? How do you get rid of them? Learn how to create homemade traps for these tiny pests, then use a few easy tips to prevent them from coming back with a vengeance! Read the rest of this entry »
‘apartment pests’ Tag
You may find yourself moving to and renting an apartment that you found on ApartmentSearch.com that is in a new city where pollen levels are constantly wreaking havoc on your allergies, forcing you to hide inside your apartment (preferably in bed with tissues and allergy medication). Winter is approaching, but hold your sigh of relief because indoor allergens in your apartment may be the prime culprit of your winter sniffles. Keeping cigarette smoke and harsh chemicals out of your home are obvious ways to reduce indoor air pollution, but there are many other types of indoor air pollutants that simple cleaning and maintenance can do away with. Since not all homes are created with fancy air conditioning and filtering systems, here are some ways to eliminate allergens and pollutants and keep your apartment air fresh.
Dust Mites and Other Unwanted Pests
As little as these guys may be, they are far from cute. Dust mites and common household pests need moisture and human dander to survive and their droppings are known to trigger allergic symptoms. That thin layer of dust (aka dead human skin cells) on top of your TV is feeding communities of little dust mites. Some ways to reduce or get rid of dust mites and other pests in your apartment include:
- Vacuum and dust frequently: if you are especially prone to allergic symptoms, you may want to opt for renting an apartment with no carpeting at all – perhaps seeking out linoleum or wood floors instead. If you’re stuck with carpet, make sure to use special high filtration vacuums that will comb through high pile carpeting.
- Wash linens and bedding in hot water weekly: If you’re already doing laundry every week, strip your pillows and bed as well. Washing bedding and linens (as well as stuffed animals and rugs) in water 130°F will help to kill off dust mites.
- Use allergen-impermeable covers: Cover your pillows, mattress, and box spring with something allergen-impermeable so that dust mites won’t be allowed to bunker down and call your lovely sleeping place their home.
- Cover all food and trash: If you need any more reasons to despise cockroaches, think about the fact that proteins in their droppings are known to trigger common allergy symptoms. Most apartments will provide pest control on a scheduled basis, but if you notice too many of these guys invading your space, be sure to let the apartment staff know right away.
As much as we don’t want to admit that our best friends may be the cause of our sniffles, animal hair, saliva, and dander carry many allergens that can cause symptoms to flare-up. Many of us are not willing to trade our furry pals for a loving, hypoallergenic turtle or lizard friend, but luckily there are ways to reduce the allergens they bring into your apartment:
- Keep pets confined in certain areas: Studies show people spend most of their time in their bedroom – adults and children alike. To reduce the likelihood of breathing in pet allergens or letting them collect, consider barring them from the bedroom and keeping them in areas that are not heavily carpeted.
- HEPA Air Cleaners or Purifiers: Some air cleaners are especially great at removing small particles from the air before they settle onto the ground, while others are specially designed to help remove pet hairs and dander. Do some research on which is best for your apartment setting before settling on a high-ticket item.
Air Circulation & Humidity
While some cities are naturally more humid than others, there are many ways to control the humidity within your apartment. Humidity levels consistently over 50% may breed all kinds of molds that offend the sinuses. Tips to improve air circulation and control humidity in your apartment include:
- Opening windows and turning on exhaust vents: Daily household activities such as cleaning, washing, and even just breathing create water vapor in the home that contributes to high humidity levels. Cooking (especially with gas stoves) introduces many pollutants and vapor into the air, which can concentrate in smaller apartments. When pollen levels are low, try opening windows to let outdoor air circulate throughout your home.
- Thoroughly clean tubs and showers monthly: Usually, using a mild bleach solution (heavy chemical solutions can also be air pollutants) will help do away with mold in especially humid water areas of the home such as the bathroom and kitchen. Keep these areas as ventilated as possible so as not to breed excessive mold.
- Regularly replace air filters: Some apartments will have maintenance routinely change out your air filters, while others will give that responsibility to the tenants. Air filters are there to help reduce the pollutants that circulate through your air conditioning system, and if you have carpet or pets in the home, it’s worth changing out more frequently than bi-monthly.
- Invest in household plants: Plants are natural air filters that not only help to remove pollutants from the air, but also recycle oxygen back in. Most indoor houseplants are easily maintained and plants such as ferns with large leaves can help remove pollutants that are normally found in paints, nail polish, and glue. Beware of overdoing plant life in a small spaces, though, as they may end up contributing to excess humidity that fosters allergens.
None of these methods alone will completely remove allergens and pollutants from your apartment, but combined they will surely make a difference in the air you breathe. And while you can’t escape the evil that is pollen season you can do a lot to improve the air quality inside of your apartment, making it a safe haven and a home!
Once pests invade apartments they can be a real pain to eliminate. We have compiled some helpful tips for controlling and solving your insect problem without using toxic chemicals in your home:
Block entryways with petroleum jelly or duct tape and sprinkle with cayenne pepper or cinnamon, which interacts with their feelers. Wipe down area with vinegar and water solution. Vinegar removes the scent trails and keeps them from coming back to the same source in apartments. To reduce and kill your ant population in faster way, borax mixed with jelly ruins digestive system and the exoskeleton.
Roaches are attracted to water so it is important to not leave stagnant water in the sink, avoid humidity, and wipe all spills. While you are at it, put all produce, bread, and perishable food items in the fridge. Mix borax with sugar. Like with the ants, it damages their exoskeleton and their digestive system. Will take about 2 weeks to see results, as the roaches continually cary and ingest the deadly, yet non-toxic, method. You can even make your own non-toxic trap: coat the insides of a mason jar with petroleum jelly and fill jar with a healthy slice of bread. They cannot crawl up the sides of the jar and are trapped inside. This method will not kill the whole colony at a rapid rate, but it will get rid of surface level insects.
We like this nifty method for getting rid of fruit flies in apartments. Pour a glass of wine or orange juice into a cup. Then, cover it with saran wrap, and poke 6-8 small holes with a needle for flies to crawl into. They will not be able to fly out of the glass and will remain trapped. If you like to keep the doors open occasionally in your apartment, keep a pot or a few sprigs of basil in your home to repel fruit flies.
Moths like dark and cozy area like your closet. They can produce larvae and hatch eggs in your garments and leave holes in your clothes. A satchel of cedar blocks and/or lavender can eliminate this problem in apartments. Cedar will kill the larvae, and lavender will act as a repellant to prevent future infestations. Consider it a 1, 2 punch to moth colonies!
In our last post, we taught you how to find an apartment with the perfect patio for your apartment living routine. However, we understand that many apartment dwellers do not follow a set routine and would like to keep their patio cool and pest free around-the-clock in the summertime! You never know when the perfect apartment pool-side party will end with popsicles on your patio at sunset, or if one morning you’d like to read with your cereal outside. To be prepared for all scenarios, we have compiled a few tips for keeping cool and pest free all summer long.
Plants and water features minimize the amount of concrete or wood that gets heated by the sun because they absorb and trap heat. It may be helpful to keep up with an herb garden or have a few potted succulents and ferns on your patio. You’ll also reap the benefits of having fresh basil or even tomatoes for summer salads! Water features, such as fountains, are also a cooling feature for apartments because when water is evaporated, it absorbs a large amount of heat. Placing an umbrella over patio furniture can also offer shade and a cooler apartment living atmosphere. To keep cool in humid climates, portable box fans under the umbrellas can also help. Box fans also help keep flies away from food.
On the topic of flies and pests, we know how annoying they can be for any apartment living situation, especially in the summer! One way to keep mosquitos away from patios is through using mosquito repellent candles, tiki torches, and sprays. Apply lavender essential oil to skin for a more natural approach. To repel flies, hang a plastic bag full of water with a single penny or a piece of tin foil inside above your patio. This is an old (and highly debated) trick to refract light and to alter the vision of flies. Because they have thousands of eyes, it is said that the way the light is reflected and affects their vision keeps them away.